Nikola Jokic’s 2020-21 NBA season might be over.
The Denver Nuggets are on the verge of elimination and they will be without their MVP big man for the remainder of Game 4.
Jokic was ejected in the second half of Game 4 against the Phoenix Suns on Sunday evening. The MVP big man came down extremely hard on Suns guard Cameron Payne.
Here’s what happened:
Nikola Jokic got Cam Payne in the face. It wasn't close to as bad as it looked live, but the windup — even though he was going for the ball and eventually got ball — is why he's in the locker room right now.
Is LeBron, CP3, Steph getting ejected for that? It's a flagrant 1. pic.twitter.com/c3WCSf16gL
— Harrison Wind (@HarrisonWind) June 14, 2021
Jokic is clearly way out of line with this foul, and the windup probably necessitates an ejection based on the rulebook. However, it wasn’t a completely obvious ejection, at least in the minds of many NBA fans.
Still, this series is probably over anyway.
Phoenix is leading Denver, 99-90, early in the fourth quarter. The Suns are up, 3-0, in the second round series.
Things got heated in Game 4 as Nikola Jokić was ejected 😠 pic.twitter.com/CtwtHUZ3aV
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) June 14, 2021
Jokic's reaction after getting ejected 👀 pic.twitter.com/B15qj5OvSR
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 14, 2021
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, meanwhile, ripped the call.
“You do not make that call vs Jokic a FLAGRANT2. The swipe was a frustration foul. We’ve seen worse. The fans do not attend games for this kind of call. You’ve EJECTED the league-MVP. You don’t do this,” he tweeted.
This is the damn problem with the @NBA right now.. you do not make that call vs Jokic a FLAGRANT2. The swipe was a frustration foul. We’ve seen worse. The fans do not attend games for this kind of call. You’ve EJECTED the league-MVP. You don’t do this.#Unreal
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 14, 2021
Alas, Jokic is gone and if the Nuggets are going to stay alive in this series, it will be without their MVP player.
The fourth quarter of Nuggets vs. Suns can be seen on TNT.